ALD Presents International Fellowship award to Mannie Manim

The Young Vic theatre played host to lighting designers and technicians from across the world this week, who had gathered for the presentation of the second International Fellowship by The Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) to South African Lighting Designer Mannie Manim.

The prestigious international fellowship was presented to Manim by ALD president, Richard Pilbrow. Honoured for his lengthy list of credits in lighting design Manim, throughout an exceptional career, has also been a company manager, producer, technical director, founder, administrator and trustee of many theatre organisations.  

During the ceremony, lighting designer and ALD member, Declan Randall, read tributes from the peers of the South African lighting designer. 
A tribute from Ismail Mahomed, CEO of the Market Theatre, Johannesburg, stated, “It is virtually impossible to write the history of South African theatre without acknowledging the massive contribution made by Mannie Manim. During the dark days of Apartheid when audiences and cast were legislatively separated; and when the majority of the population were deprived access to the arts, Mannie Manim brought enlightenment by founding South Africa's most iconic theatre, the Market Theatre. 

“…[This award] could not have come at a better time. It affirms that forty years after founding the Market Theatre, Mannie Manim's contribution to the arts continues to engage the power of theatre to bring light and enlightenment across the geographical borders of the world. We salute Mannie Manim.”

Whilst a tribute from director, Janice Honeyman, read, “Some of my best hours have been spent in the dark with Mannie - with him lighting up my life - (the theatre) - with his own special talent, skill and aesthetic vision for well over forty years! Every production has been a gift, every cue is a new adventure together, a visual extension, an enhancement of an initial concept, and my teacher, Mannie, develops these with consummate artistic expression… You do it personally and generously.  Eish, Mister Manim - (Mr. Madam!!!) you are, quite simply, the BEST! Thank-you!!"

Manim started as an usher at the Brooke Theatre, Johannesburg in 1955 and he rose through the ranks from stage hand to Managing Director of PACT Drama, and created the Doornfontein Arena.  Courageously he and Barney Simon created the world renowned Market Theatre in Johannesburg. Executive Director of Baxter and Fugard Theatres in Cape Town, producing and lighting his own productions, his work has been often in South Africa but also extensively seen internationally.  

Mannie Manim joins American Lighting designer Jennifer Tipton, who received the first ALD International Fellowship, awarded in 2012.